In an adventure that feels like an adventure of Mr. Robot, hackers managed to gain access to parts of San Francisco’s MUNI busline system.

Last Friday, attackers managed to get into 2,112 computers and infect them with a alternative of the HDDCryptor malware that encrypted all data. Screens across the system showed the following message:


Though trains still ran, with the ticketing machines out of service, the San Francisco carriage agency was forced to open all gates and waive fares for all riders — some of them including a note advertence the scrapped fare.

The extent of the infection didn’t just stop there, however, but also included authoritative systems, email and print servers, agent laptops, amount systems, SQL databases, base kiosk PCs and assorted other systems, according to the Register.

Through an email abode given in the hacked message, The Verge was able to acquaintance the hackers, and accustomed the afterward reply:

We don’t absorption to account and bear news ! our software alive absolutely automatically and we don’t have targeted attack to anywhere ! SFMTA arrangement was Very Open and 2000 Server/PC adulterated by software ! so we are cat-and-mouse for acquaintance any amenable person in SFMTA but i think they don’t want deal ! so we close this email tomorrow!”

After accepting in touch with the carriage agency’s officials, a 100 bitcoin (or almost $73,000) ransom was asked, after which the hackers would grant access to the system again. As of yet, the bitcoin wallet offered to drop the money charcoal empty except for a 0.001 BTC transaction.

In a animadversion given to Mashable on Sunday at 6:42 ET, Muni agent Paul Rose accepted that all fare gates are operational again, after answer how the aggregation dealt with the requested funds.

Normally, attacks like this can take place because addition downloads a dodgy executable file that manages to bear through a aggregation network, but the agency hasn’t given any animadversion on what absolutely happened.

The hacking of systems in the public space is a book that has been again used in ball productions like USA Network’s Mr. Robot and the afresh appear video game Watch Dogs 2, both in which accepting access to computers that run about attainable casework play a axial role.

The San Francisco public carriage might only be a local system, but imagine article like this accident to an air cartage ascendancy system or civic rail casework — the impact would be much larger. Also, the choice to infect Muni’s computers with ransomware was a almost affable one, as regaining access to the systems was offered at a price.

In a worse scenario, systems could have absolutely shut down after notice and trains could have been chock-full completely, depending on the level of access attackers would be able to get. The world is active on mostly agenda systems, and this incident, once again, shows those aren’t altogether secure.

Let’s just hope we don’t have to fear a real life hidden social amends hacker’s society.